Steel Markets

Housing Starts Make Modest Gain in April

Written by Sandy Williams

Housing starts in April increased 6.6 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,172,000, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. On a year over year basis housing start were down 1.7 percent.

Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 778,000, 3.3 percent above the revised March figure of 753,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 373,000.

Building permits for privately-owned housing units increased 3.6 percent to a SAAR of 1,116,000 from the revised March rate of 1,077,000, but is 5.3 percent below the April 2015 estimate of 1,178,000.

Single-family authorizations in April rose 1.5 percent to a rate of 736,000; authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 348,000.

All four regions posted permit increases in April. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted gains of 3 percent, 3.3 percent, 3.3 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.

“This month’s modest rise in housing production is consistent with builder sentiment, which has remained steady and in positive territory in recent months,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady.

“Though housing construction data is relatively flat for the beginning of 2016, we anticipate a ramping up of housing production during the rest of the year, given a strengthening job market, low mortgage interest rates and favorable demographics,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

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